When Keynesian darling Paul Krugman isn’t advocating a space alien invasion to stimulate the economy or winning fake news grand prizes, the leftist economist gives his readers a bad case of whiplash. Reading his New York Times blog is like watching a tennis match, as Krugman’s positions on public policy travel back and forth at 100 m.p.h.
Budget Deficits Matter Again
Krugman recently published a column titled “Who’s Afraid of the Budget Deficit?” in which he argues that the Democrats must resist the temptation to put “themselves in a fiscal straitjacket.” He asserts that there is too much to get done – education, health care, and infrastructure – and the federal government can spend more because of low borrowing costs.
…he has chosen instead to play partisan games and perpetually defend the left…
He dismissed the notion that it would be political suicide for the Democrats to turn into deficit hawks, noting that voters are indifferent to debt and deficits. The Nobel recipient also had to insert his revisionist history in the post by explaining that “deficit obsession was deeply destructive” following the Great Recession.
Because Republicans have been fiscally irresponsible, Krugman’s premise is this: spend more, deficits don’t matter, and damn future interest payments.
If this were a consistent philosophy for Krugman, you could respect his opinion, no matter how wrong. But it has not been steady; he has chosen instead to play partisan games and perpetually defend the left side of the aisle.
Throughout the reign of President Barack Obama, Krugman continually advocated for higher deficits and greater deficit-financed spending. He believed the trillions in new debt Obama slapped on the American people were not enough and more needed to be done, hence his book End This Depression Now!
He changed his tune in 2016. Shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, Krugman wrote in The Times, “Deficits Matter Again.” He defended his tergiversating by citing full employment, rising wages, and the labor market returning to pre-crisis levels. You could contend that he is shifting his stance based on recent data, but this argument goes into the waste bin when you examine jobs numbers from prior to the election to the time he hit the publish button.
In October 2016, Krugman encouraged the woman who will never be president, Hillary Clinton, to ignore “the debt scolds” and continue the crusade of deficit-financed spending. At that time, the jobless rate was 4.6%, and average wages rose by 10 cents to $25.92 per hour.
In December 2016, when the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1%, he wrote: “After forcing destructive fiscal austerity when economy depressed, Rs turning to stimulus when it isn’t.” In a six-week period, he went from demanding stimulus to opposing it; he also believes the 2013 sequester that raised the long-term national debt is austerity!
Evidently, it wasn’t an improvement in the data that forced him to modify his position; it was the election result. That’s one of President Trump’s finest qualities: making the leftists alter their longstanding opinions on a dime. If Trump celebrated oxygen, his opponents would cover their heads in plastic bags.
If you thought that was the end to Krugman’s mendacity and vacuous polemics, think again. There are still plenty of goodies in Krugman’s latest 900-word thought-provoking historic document.
According to Krugman, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is one of the best in recent history, former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a “darling” of the media, the “Democrats make big efforts to balance the budget,” and the Tea Party’s uprising “was basically about race.”
These platitudes are as bad as his prediction that the internet would have as much impact on the global economy as the fax machine. Or his analysis that sound money brought the world Adolf Hitler. Or his proposal to mint a $1 trillion coin. Or his demand for a housing bubble to replace the dot-com one.
Krugman is just one of the millions of Americans who have contracted Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS.
One symptom of this disease is contradicting yourself because Trump shares the same view. The Counterfeit News Network experienced it on the issue of parental leave when the president supported it. The alleged news outlet changed its stance on this issue in a one-month timespan all because Trump was in favor of giving women leave from work after giving birth.
It can be difficult to ascertain exactly what Krugman believes. In the 1990s, for example, he warned about the negative effects on jobs and the economy if the minimum wage increased. Since then, however, he has urged state lawmakers to hike the wage floor to $15 an hour. Krugman’s thought process isn’t a fixture of coherence and consistency; it’s more like a ping-pong ball. So, why is Krugman still taken seriously? Perhaps the divine intervention of John Maynard Keynes.